Fittest Real Athletes – Kyle Daniels

Kyle Daniels     Photo: photograph by Jake Chessum

When he's not logging 40 hours a week as an L.A. County lifeguard and another 20 as a real-estate agent, Daniels is winning some of the most respect­ed races in paddleboarding. He claimed last year's U.S. Paddleboard Championships and is the six-time winner of the Catalina Classic paddleboard mara­thon—a 32-mile crossing of the choppy strait between Santa Catalina Island and the California coast. Winning just once is one of the highest accomplishments that can be achieved in the sport. This August, Daniels is eyeing number seven.

"When I'm in the thick of training, I like to start every day with a workout. I get up with the sun and paddle up to two hours or park my car at one end of the beach and ride, run, or paddle to work. I squeeze in another workout during my break, and then I'll bike or run back home or to my car after work. Everything is "How can I turn my day into a workout?" I make my real-estate calls in the evenings and relax with my wife. I could not do it without her support. Family comes first. There are a lot of good athletes; the difference is those who are willing to give up other things. I average six hours of sleep a night. When the alarm wakes you up at 5 A.M., you've got to decide: Do you love it? There are days when I forget to eat or don't eat dinner until 10 P.M., but I have yet to have a bad day in the ocean." KEY TIP: "Make your car your base camp. I keep a paddleboard, running shoes, and something to swim in inside my car at all times. That way I never have an excuse to miss a workout."

Strike Everywhere Eco-Friendly Woven Shirt ($50) by Quiksilver; Commando Shorts ($45) by Hurley; 'Ohana Leather Sandals ($85) by OluKai

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